Ackermann, Goldman, 'Superwoman', Merrill, UBS, Hedge Funds

The Times reports that Deutsche CEO Josef Ackermann has agreed to settle that silly German breach of trust case over the payment of $78.6m in departing bonuses to Mannesmann executives at the time of the Vodafone takeover in 2000.

Ackermann and the five other defendants in this case have agreed to pay $7.6m to put the matter to bed. Ackermann, as the wealthiest of the five, will pay $4.2m. The settlement will still need to be rubber-stamped by German trial judges. None of the defendants will be expected to admit wrongdoing.

Financial News reports that Goldman is to hire 60 staff into its Moscow office, two months after getting the all-clear and obtaining a Russian securities brokerage licence.

The Observer reports that Nicola Horlick, CEO & founder of Bramdean Asset Management, is hoping to launch a new investment fund next year which will invest in private equity, fine art, timber and infrastructure. The newspaper quotes Ms Horlick saying that 'these investments are very much the province of the rich. But the returns can be very significant. I am keen on the idea of democratising such assets, setting up a sort of buyers' co-operative so that everyone can have a seat at the table'.

Bloomberg reports that both Merrill Lynch and UBS are to open offices in Turkey in order 'to tap its growing stock market and boost fees from company takeovers'. Turkey has sold around $16bn of government companies last year, and more government sales are due to take place in 2007.

Reuters reports that Citigroup Private Bank is telling its wealthy clients that now may be the best time to get into hedge funds. According to the news agency, the unit's investment analysis and advice group recently said that 'the turn of the calender appears a highly favourable time for most hedge fund strategies'.

Finally, Financial News reports that ABN Amro is joining Deutsche Bank and Merrill Lynch and will invest up to $131m in a new $2bn listed hedge fund, MW Tops, managed by Marshall Ward.

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